Nowadays, numerous problems are faced by high school teachers. These problems are typically range from minor issues like absenteeism and misbehavior to bigger ones such as early pregnancy or drug addiction. As a future educator, it is inevitable that sooner or later I will be dealing with these issues and I am truly disturbed. Psychologists and other professionals have given interventions to resolve these concerns but, are these solutions enough to change the students? Or is there something else they must experience for real and lasting change?
An ISCF (Inter-School Christian Fellowship), a ministry for high school under IVCF held a 2-day Condensed Sibol Camp with the theme “Change is Coming” in Southern Mindanao. Sibol Midsayap (Dec. 9-11, 2016 at SCC Nature Farm, Pob. 8, Midsayap, Cotabato) had 23 campers, 4 of them were church delegates. After the camp, one of the campers, Christine Rhufer Fajota testified, “… This camp changed my perception in life as well as the relationship I have with God. Through God I was changed because the moment I accepted Him, I learned how to deal with my problems, how to walk and deal with the world. I learned how to watch my actions and the words I speak. I learned how to be a blessing to unbelievers. I realized the need to prioritize and seek God first—to trust in Him without any doubt. As a result of this camp, I committed to find a time that is only for God because he is not just any god but He is the highest of all, the Holy One who loves us.”
Praise God! Change became evident in the lives of the campers. God opened their hearts. It did not only change their perspectives in life but also their connection to the Lord. Sibol Camp gave hope and became an instrument of change in the life of the teens. The camp did not only impact the delegates, but also the counselors. They were reminded of their commitment to the Lord. One of the Junior Counselors – Auron Wee Villegas said “…Sibol Camp is something that reminds me of how great, lovable, glorious, victorious, and majestic our God is. It reminds me to what it really means after you have received Jesus Christ in your life. This event reawakened my inner thirst… I became inspired to really live for Him, to commit myself and offer it for Him 100 % and now, it’s time to allow Him to change my life and for me to turn away from all my impurities and wicked ways. Truly, truly, change is coming. Change has come.”
“Lahi ra jud si Jesus!” as what Kuya Ricky entitled his message on the “Uniqueness of Christ‟ during the Condensed Sibol Camp held at Kao National High School in Sto. Niño, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley on January 6-8, 2017. Indeed! There is nothing that compares to the Lord because He is absolutely unique and morally perfect. Forty-eight delegates joined the camp, five of them were non-Kao NHS delegates and the rest were either the „cream of the crop‟ or the “delinquents‟. Most of the students dealt with problems in school, peers and family. They are dealing with difficult problems at their young age. No wonder they rebelled and became the problems of the society.
Seeing these students broke my heart. The community judged their misbehaviour by disregarding the pain that they go through. This camp opened my eyes to that fact that Christianity is a serious business, that I must be consistent with my calling – to become a teacher! There are great numbers of students who are in danger of conforming to worldly things and need to know Jesus. I also realized that I must not be the controller of my life but it must be Him. In the first place, I am nothing without Him.
After the Sibol Camp in Nabunturan, I was inspired by how the Lord touched and changed these lives. Jonil Villaroya, a Grade 10 student wrote in his testimony, “Nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon dahil malaki ang binago ng aking buhay…Ngayon ay confident na ako na pinatawad na pala ako sa pamamagitan ni Kristo Hesus. Binigyan ako ng Diyos ng tibay at lakas ng loob na harapin ang aking pamilya sa kabila ng pagiging masamang anak ko sa kanila…Pag-uwi ko’y sisiguraduhin kong may pagbabago ang lahat. Ilalaganap ko ang pangalan ni Hesus sa abot ng aking makakaya..”
Hashem Balaba, a Grade 9 student also shared her testimony, “Sa pagsali ko sa Sibol Camp, marami agad ang nagbago… Ito’y nagbigay sa akin ng interes na ipagpatuloy na basahin ang salita ng Diyos… At ngayon, buong puso at walang pagaalinlangan kong masasabing “Ako ay anak ng Diyos! Binibigay ko ang lahat ng aking tiwala at pananampalataya kay Hesus. Maraming Salamat po Panginoon! As one of the counselors of this event, I confirm that the camp is truly life changing. With these testimonies, I can attest the text that says “Who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you– majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11, NIV). No one! Only Jesus can heal broken heart. Only Jesus can bring change in one‟s life. Only Jesus can rescue us from difficulties. Only Jesus can make one‟s life meaningful.
(Written by: Crezel Joy S. Feller, IVCF Graduate from USeP Tagum City)
Praise the LORD for:
- the Dec. 2016 NLE passers like LV Joyce Espero & Nick Anthony Torreon;
- the success of the 2nd DLTC for the college/university last Dec. 18-23, 2016 at Basilio Property (adjoining Seagrass Beach Resort), Brgy. San Miguel, Peñaplata, Island Garden
City of Samal which was participated by 28 delegates and 27 staff and counselors; and
- the success of the Condensed Sibol Camp on Jan. 6-8 at Kao NHS, Sto. Niño, Nabunturan, ComVal which was pariticipated by 48 delegates and 21 staff and counselors.
Pray to the LORD for:
- a consistent follow-up and discipleship for the Sibol Campers. Pray for more volunteers and partners;
- the preparation for ISCF-LCDC on May 13-20. Pray for an appropriate venue and the camp subsidy;
- financial provision for the regional operation. We are on deficit by P 53,847.41 as January 15, 2017;
- safety and cooperation as the region will host the upcoming Kawayan Camp on April 9-May 11 in Davao City;
- more responsible student-leaders and volunteers as we are about to end this School Year; and
- wisdom for our brethren who are preparing for the upcoming board exams (Pharmacy, etc.)